Roads in Azerbaijan: the most expensive in the world

Roads in Azerbaijan: the most expensive in the world

An average cost of one kilometer of road is about $ 18 million in Azerbaijan- said Vugar Bayramov, the chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD), in his interview with newspaper “Echo”. He mentioned that, terms of such spending, Azerbaijan is the leader among the CIS countries, Europe and USA; roads in Azerbaijan are the most expensive in the world.

Bayramov’s statement eloquently confirmed with researches done by the RIA “News: “As it turns out, the cost of road bypasses Russia most of the other countries, but not Azerbaijan. The cost of roads in Russia is much higher than in many countries,” said resource. If we talk in terms of figures, the cost of laying one kilometer of road in Russia costing 17.6 million dollars. In the U.S., the comparable figure was only 5.9 million in the EU – 6.9 million dollars and finally in China – only 2.2 million. Cost of roads in Russia is higher 3 times compare with the U.S. , 2,5 times with Europe and 8 times with China.

It should be noted that 18,3 million manat ($ 24,0 million) per kilometer is not the limited amount in Azerbaijan. In particular, as noted Bayramov, depending on the situation, the cost of road construction in Azerbaijan may vary. “For example, for the construction of the road to the airport was spent AZN 255 million.” The length of the road, according to experts, is 14 kilometers. “Based on this, every kilometer of road cost about $ 24 million. But 255 million manat was not a finite sum. In the same year,  5 million manat  ($ 6,4 million) was allocated from the state budget for repairing of this road”.

There are many cases that when the original estimate cost of road further increases- mentioned CESD chairman. “For example, for the laying of the road to the Russian border has been assessed $ 312 million. But in the future, this amount was increased three fold to $ 1 billion,” – said Bayramov.

Meanwhile, for the opportunity of introducing the study of paid roads in Azerbaijan as part of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop the road network in the country, the use of consultants. It was reported recently Trend in Baku office of the bank. “The tender process is in the final stage, presumably in September consultant has been defined, – the office said. – We attach great importance to this issue, because the consultants will be included along with the study of existing legislation making recommendations. Therefore, selection of consultant carried out very carefully. ”

In September last year, has already declared a contest to attract consulting services, which are scheduled to close on October 26. In this case, it was planned to begin work no later than January 2012 and be completed by June 2012. The study of law is necessary in order to identify opportunities for the introduction of toll roads in the republic, especially in Baku, but, perhaps, on the main roads. These studies have been laid in the first tranche of $ 200 million allocated to the ADB for the reconstruction of Masalli-Astara at the end of 2007 from the multitranche package for road projects.

In JSC “Azeryolservis” Transport Ministry said that the consultant should conduct a study on the state of the automobile roads, traffic, road surface on the roads, and to identify needs for improvement of roads in the next 10-year period. The task of the consultant is to assess the road network, depending on the traffic, its economic importance in the region and the needs of the current position of the vehicles using the projected highway. The consultant should provide roads that are important from an economic point of view, and prepare a schedule of registration in numerical order. The consultant should pay special attention to the calculation of income to be derived from paid roads, and for the projects, cooperative public-private sector, should be taken into account road with a high rate of return. Under the terms of the tender announced by JSC “Azeryolservis”, firms can come in the form of association to increase the qualifying performance.

Vugar Bayramov metioned that, paid roads in Azerbaijan, at the moment .is not on the agenda According Bayramov, revenue from the use of paid roads, can be directed to maintenance of the road infrastructure. “But in Azerbaijan there is no big demand for financial resources on this matter.” As noted Bayramov, more topical issues such as effective utilization of financial resources during construction or maintenance of the road infrastructure are more important to be addressed.

However, expert said that, the world of paid roads have to have an alternative. “If a citizen does not necessarily want to pay for a ride on a paid highway, he/she can use the free alternative. So it must be in Azerbaijan. However, the situation around the capital can not build alternative roads,” – said Bayramov.

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